Black bear spotted in Indiana

Staff Report

INDIANAPOLIS– For the first time in 140 years a black bear has been confirmed inside the border of the state.

Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologists confirmed on Friday the presence of a wild black bear in northern Indiana and said the bear had moseyed its way in from Michigan. The DNR received multiple reports of bear spottings around South Bend and St. Joseph County. Wildlife Biologist, Budd Veverka examined animal droppings submitted to the DNR and confirmed it as bear scat.

Occasional reports over the years have surfaced of bears entering the state but this is the first to have been confirmed by the DNR in more than a hundred years. In the springtime, young black bears wander in search of a new territory to claim. Although bears have major colonies in Michigan and eastern parts of Kentucky and Ohio, Wildlife Section Chief for the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife, Mitch Marcus said he does not expect the bear to stay in Indiana for long.

“Indiana does not have a breeding population of black bears, and we expect this one to turn back north eventually,” said Marcus in a statement.

Black bears are shy by nature and tend to avoid human contact and attacks are rare.

Black bears are now listed as an exotic mammal and protected in Indiana.

Indiana DNR encourages citizens to report sightings of the bear to or by calling (812) 334-1137 during regular business hours. Photos or videos can be sent to the same email address. is a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.


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